Devils hire Lindy Ruff as head coach

By WGR 550 SportsRadio

The longest tenured and winngest coach in Buffalo Sabres history is getting another crack at a head coaching job in the National Hockey League.

Lindy Ruff, who has served as an assistant coach with the New York Rangers for the last three years, has officially been named as the new head coach of the New Jersey Devils.

#NEWS: The New Jersey Devils have signed Lindy Ruff to be the 19th head coach in franchise history.Welcome to Jersey, Lindy!--: | #NJDevils

— New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) July 9, 2020

Ruff becomes the 19th head coach in Devils history, taking over for interim head coach Alain Nasreddine. Nasreddine took over after John Hynes was fired this past December.

The Devils are not necessarily built to win right away, but if Ruff can get the likes of Jack Hughes and Nico Hischier turned in the right direction, he'll have a shot to enter the top-five in NHL history in wins. Ruff is currently sixth in NHL history with 736 wins, sitting 46 wins behind the late Al Arbour and 113 wins behind retired coach Ken Hitchcock. If Ruff can get to a third season in New Jersey, he should catch both. However, Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice is just seven wins behind Ruff and is six years younger.

In his last head coaching job, Ruff saw some success with the Dallas Stars from 2013 to 2017. In those four seasons, Ruff made the playoffs twice, making the second round in the 2016-17 season.